THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF OB APPLICATIONS BY CONSULTING ACADEMICIANS
Milton D. Hakel Bowling Green State University
Organizational behavior (OB) is a broad and inclusive field, covering any intervention that influences the behavior of one or more people working in a group. This definition therefore includes both selection and organizational development, topics in which the modal organizational behaviorist may have limited interest. OB is not limited to particular types of organizations (e.g., corporations) or even to monetarily compensated activity. The definition uses the word intervention to emphasize both causal and applied views of the phenomena we study. The purpose of this chapter is to examine how we might learn more from attempts at application, and thus become more effective at both studying and intervening.
By way of preface, please note that none of the world's problems come in neatly partitioned packages, subdivided in correspondence to the disciplinary and subdisciplinary affiliations of researchers. Organizational problems do not know the sociological structure of academia, and effective solutions to them may not respect that structure either.
The field has a long history of contributions by academicians working as consultants toward the solution of organizations' problems. There is no need to attempt to review all of them, but rather it is sufficient to note only a few to serve as exemplars